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Denise Smith

Executive Director, Educare Flint
Senior Leadership


Denise Smith is Executive Director of the Flint Early Childhood Collaborative. She leads the Collaborative in its dual purpose of providing excellent early childhood education and care to children ages birth through five and their families; and serving as a catalyst for change in early childhood services in Flint and the state. Prior to joining the Collaborative, Smith served as Vice President of Early Learning for Excellent Schools Detroit.

The Collaborative was formed as a result of the Flint Water Crisis when approximately 10,000 children from birth to age 6 were exposed to lead in their drinking water. One of the most effective strategies to mitigate the damaging effects of lead exposure in children is participation in high-quality early childhood education. In this new role, Smith will provide oversight of the Collaborative’s strategic plan, ensuring a culture of excellence, collaboration, quality assurance and continuous improvement across the Educare and Cummings early childhood learning sites in Flint.

Smith completed dual bachelor’s degrees in communication and French at the University of Michigan. She holds a master’s degree in Human Development, Education Leadership and Infant Toddler Development from Pacific Oak College in Pasadena, CA.